How To Identify Root Problems In Marijuana Plants

March 31, 2020

Strong roots mean a healthy, thriving marijuana plant. Depending on the strain it may be more likely to have root problems than the others.

In this article we will discuss:

Taking very good care of the roots will result in a happy plant, which is exactly what you want. Read this article and learn how to identify and prevent root problems with your marijuana plants.

How do root problems occur

how do root problems occur

There are several causes for root problems, including temperature, pot sizes and soil. Here the reasons this happens:

  1. Putting a little plant in a large pot – As a seedling, being in a large pot will usually make it hard for the plants roots to receive the right amount of oxygen. You have to be sure never to overwater your plant until it begins to grow up and start filling the pot. Start off slow, watering it a little in a circle around the seedling, until it is growing more rapidly.
  2. Having a large plant in a small pot If the roots end up beyond the size of the container your plant is now what we call “root-bound”. When this happens it and will start showing evidence that it has root problems. You will have to move your plant to a bigger pot to avoid suffocating the roots.
  3. Cold Temperatures – Roots will not thrive if they are cold. The cooler temperature surprises them causing the roots to wither.
  4. Hot Temperatures – Marijuana roots will definitely have problems at high temperatures.
  5. Hydroponic Systems – A lack of oxygen creates root problems since it will be too hot or it isn’t airing out properly.
  6. Overwatering – With plants that are grown in pots, excessive watering will lead to root problems.
  7. Lacking a Hole for Draining Water – the water has to be able to get out or else the roots will literally be overly submerged.
  8. The Soil Is Muddy And Thick – When the soil is dull and soggy instead of soft, could be because the soil is lacking the oxygen required to fully support the roots.

Hydrogen peroxide to fix root problems

hydrogen peroxide to fix root problems

If for any reason you hear that hydrogen peroxide is good for root problems, immediately dismiss this advice. This only help for a short period of time. No matter what type of H2O2 you use, it will no longer be present once a 24-hour period has passed.

Download my free Grow Bible for more about plant diseases and how to treat them

When H2O2 is added to water, it will literally destroy the bacteria present in the water regardless of good or bad. However, this lacks the ability to kill off all bacteria, which means it is possible that a few of the bad bacteria will be around reproducing. At the end of the day, hydrogen peroxide in no way takes care of the core problem, which is the reason root problems exist. This will also be the cause of death for the good bacteria in the water or soil. There is a possibility it will make everything even worse off than before.

Marijuana plant symptoms

marijuana plant symptoms
  • Edges are burnt
  • Leaves are yellowing
  • Leave are red or pink
  • Brown spots
  • Leave are falling off
  • Leaves are curled and sagging
  • Roots are smelly and brown

Your plants leaves may never thrive again until you deal with your root problems. When helping your plant recover, make sure you are aware if the issue is no longer expanding and watch to see that the newer leaves come in very strong and lush.

Remember that plants with strong genetics have less change of getting sick and are less vulnerable for diseases. So make sure to buy marijuana seeds from a trusted seed bank.

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible


The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]


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  1. By Jared ,14 Sep 2015
    I was just wondering then about the hydrogen peroxide. Should it not be used at all or are here other applicable times during my grow that you would want to use it. I have been mixing a small amount up […]Read More
  2. By latewood ,16 Sep 2015
    I would not personally "spray hydrogen peroxide on my plants. For mold and mildew I use a little baking soda mixed with water. The high PH stifles mold and mildew growth; Some people mix a small amount in their bubblers […]Read More
  3. By What is a Marijuana Plant? ,18 Sep 2015
    […] Roots absorb water and nutrients, keep the plant safe in the soil, and store extra nutrients. A healthy root tip is white and covered with tiny hairs. If the tips of your roots are brown, it’s probably an indication […]Read More
  4. By Jim Morin ,24 Oct 2015
    I have a green fugues in the bottom of my hydroponics retainer is this normal .should i flush it out and put new water in ? the plants about 2 weeks in growth .
  5. By latewood.ILGM ,27 Oct 2015
    Algae. Algae is what is growing in your hydroponic reservoir due to a light leak.. Somehow it seems that you have allowed a light to seep into the res'. Is your reservoir "light-tight"? I suggest you join our grow forum […]Read More
  6. By Brian ,27 Feb 2016
    Information is very helpful I know a lot of stuff that I didn't know thank you now where is my free Growing Bible
    1. By Jennifer ILGM ,01 Mar 2016
      Hi Brian, all grow guides will be send to you when you start the download here: Contact support if your having download problems.
  7. By Jerome ,27 Jul 2017
    how do I get rid of root rot, I am pretty sure I have it
  8. By latewood_ILGM ,05 Aug 2017
    Jerome, There are products like hydrozyme on the market and hydrogen peroxide used correctly. Maybe you should join our support forum and we can help you there and share images and articles with you. Friendly community.
  9. By Tex ,24 Feb 2018
    hi there, we have root problems, reakon its nematodes, branches browning off, go limp looking, and with in days whole branches are dead, got all other nutrients etc good, don't know how to fix
    1. By latewood_ILGM ,27 Feb 2018
      Tex, You need to go and join ILGM There are too many things that could be going wrong and the blog is not the best format for support. See you in the ILGM forum. Sorry for your loss.
  10. By Rich ,13 Feb 2019
    Indoor and indoor and Coco using cocoa Plans havev plants have gotten lazy They still wor they still Look good Production has production has dropped from 3 to 1 ounce per unit Only thing I only thing I can see […]Read More
  11. By Mike ,07 Apr 2021
    No roots other than tap root on a few of my plants. Stalk is very small and weak.

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